New Alliance Maps Global Water Risks

by Matt Ball on August 17, 2011

The Aqueduct Alliance is a consortium created by the World Resources Institute to provide companies and investors with details about global water risks as water scarcity emerges as a defining challenge of this century. The global water risk database allows for mapping of risk levels with unprecedented detail and resolution. The global database of water risk information comes from Coca-Cola, who once held this data as a proprietary resource. The maps provide advanced hydrological data along with social, economic and governance details.

The data and tools make the connection to bottom-line business impacts, because deteriorating water quality leads to higher capital costs. In addition, the reputation of a company can be damaged by unsustainable water use. The alliance will include groups of companies by sectors, including oil & gas, power generation, food & beverage, mining, manufacturing, and agribusiness.

WRI has developed a Water Risk Atlas Prototype for the Yellow River Basin in northern China, and is working to launch an interactive web platform with global and basin-specific maps and information on water related risks. WRI promises, “a fully functional Water Risk Atlas will be released by September 1st, 2011.”

The consortium currently counts as its members Dow Chemical, Talisman Energy, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg and United Technologies.  The effort also involved the China Environment Forum and the Woodrow Wilson Center. WRI plans to expand the effort further with additional international organizations, government entities, and other stakeholders.

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